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Hotel Savoia & Jolanda
Riva Degli Schiavoni 4187, Venice 301224.0 out of 5.0
This centrally located century-old hotel sits on Venice's waterfront promenade, busy with pedestrians, stalls, gondolas and …
Carnival Palace Hotel
Fondamenta di Cannaregio, 929, Venice 301214.0 out of 5.0
Located in Cannaregio, this romantic hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Guglie Bridge, Rialto Bridge, and Ca' d'Oro. St. Mary o …
San Marco 1459, Venice 301245.0 out of 5.0
Set in Venice's most fashionable shopping district, this hotel 150 metres west of St Mark's Square features two terraces …
Calle Specchieri 463 San Marco, Venice 301243.0 out of 5.0
This modernised 17th-century building in Venice, formerly a convent and a palazzo, is 50 metres from Piazza San Marco, 200 …
Hotel Ai Cavalieri di Venezia
Calle Borgolocco 6108, Castello, Venice 301224.0 out of 5.0
Located in Castello, this hotel is steps from Santa Maria della Pieta and Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo. Rialto Bridge and …
Santa Croce 1302, Venice 30135
Located in Santa Croce, this bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Scalzi Bridge and St. Mary of the Friars. Rialto …
Hotel Ai Reali
Campo della Fava, 5527, Castello, Venice 301224.5 out of 5.0
This family-friendly Venice hotel is located in the historical district, just steps from Chiesa di San Salvador and Rialto …
Castello, Calle Del Remedio 4416, Venice 301224.0 out of 5.0
Restored 17th palace Venice hotel set on the Rio di Palazzo canal, overlooking the Bridge of Sighs and 100 metres from St …
Liassidi Palace Hotel
Castello, Ponte dei Greci 3405, Venice 301224.0 out of 5.0
Facing a narrow canal 300 meters (328 yards) from St Mark's Square crowds, this 15th-century Venice palazzo offers a tranquil …
Hotel L'Orologio Venezia
Sestiere San Polo - Riva de L Ogio 1777, Venice 301254.5 out of 5.0
Located in San Polo, this luxury hotel is steps from Pescaria and Ca' d'Oro. Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Basilica are also …
Even if you haven't visited Venice, you've probably already seen images of its classic highlights: gondolas on the Grand Canal, the gothic Doge's Palace, and the pigeons on St Marks Square. You can rest assured that the reality of these places is every bit as majestic as the postcard pictures make them out to be.
More than just a series of famous snapshots, however, Venice is a mesmerizing, mysterious city laced with hints of melancholy. Once a major maritime power, Venice continues to survive largely because of the tourist trade, with the number of actual residents dwindling year after year. Ever-increasing flooding wreaks havoc on architecture, while the summer's heat can make the city feel almost swamp-like. Decadent palaces stand next to decaying houses, glorious restoration next to gloomy ruin, making the city nothing short of a floating museum - but in many ways this is also its barrier to modernization.
Mix of contrasts
This profound mix of contrasts makes Venice a fascinating destination. As it struggles to find a balance between preserving the rich cultural heritage on which it depends and carving out an identity as a still-living city in the 21st century, Venice remains one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The reputations of the signature tourist 'musts' are well-deserved, but the discoveries you make by getting lost in Venice's winding streets and canals are equally rewarding. Exploring your extraordinary surroundings is sure to make you sigh in disbelief. One of Venice's most famous bridges, in fact - just one of over 400 bridges connecting Venice's islands - is called the Bridge of Sighs.
Even the light in Venice is different; the reflection off the water has provided inspiration for many artists. The Accademia Gallery holds several Venetian masterpieces, and you'll notice the play of light in many of its painting. The unusual light is far from being the city's only special quality. Visit during Carnevale and you'll see a glamour you thought no longer existed. Also well worth a visit is Venice Biennale, Europe's classiest international forum for contemporary art.
Cars aren't allowed in Venice, so you'll get to know the city by walking or riding vaporetti (public water buses - an alternative to the more expensive water taxis or gondolas, although it's worth splashing for a romantic evening out). Venice is notoriously crowded (and expensive), but people come for good reason. There is no other city like it in the world - its culture and canals, basilicas and bridges continue to leave visitors marveling. Despite its uncertain future, Venice hasn't lost its magic.